I don’t talk to my grandmother very often. I try to reserve my conversations with her for days when things are looking positive for me, and when I’m pretty sure they’re looking nice for her too. So I called her today and we had a nice conversation. My cousin graduated from law school last weekend and my aunt staged a huge bash in my grandmother’s yard with catered food and everything, and the church across the street agreed to let them use the parking lot as long as they promised to clean it up afterwards. The Bishop place, which always looked like it was going to fall over if you breathed on it, was bought by this nice lady that had it remodeled inside and out and she loves to garden, so it’s become quite a cute little house, and she reminded me of the neighborhood pastor who was killed by some gang members while he was walking down the street with his bible in his hand. Goings-on in my old stomping grounds have continued to go on without me and my grandma has sat by quietly watching it all ever since my grandfather passed away three years ago.
I still worry about my grandmother, living by herself in an inner-city neighborhood in an area that is becoming less and less habitable as time marches on, but part of me was so happy to hear about the old neighborhood, that I was selfishly glad to hear all of her stories. That is, until she started talking about visiting my grandfather’s grave.
My dad is still coping with my grandfather’s passing so he hasn’t been able to bring himself to take her out for a visit, so when my aunt came into town, they went there together and it was almost too much for my aunt to take too. With her father and her brother laid in the ground side-by-side, knowing that her mother is not too far behind them… all she could do was run away and leave Grandma there to place the flowers for her.
That’s when Grandma took a deep breath and asked me the saddest question I have ever been asked. “He’s been gone three years, why do I still cry?”
I answered without hesitation, “Because you love him.” I had to take a deep breath too, just to stop myself from crying.
I am sure that I heard a smile in her voice when she said, “Yeah, I guess I do.”